Fertility treatments brought John and Meryl Ferraro of Fullerton their now-2-year-old daughter, so when the couple decided to give her a sibling they against turned to fertility doctors. But after being advised in Southern California to reduce the number of fetuses the 39-year-old mother was carrying (five), the couple did some research online and found Dr. John Elliott, who helped them deliver quintuplets in Mesa, Arizona, last week.
The Sept. 26 births at Banner Desert Medical Center required a team of 15 nurses, a nurse practitioner, five respiratory therapists and eight other doctors to help Elliott bring Gabrielle, boy Riley, girl Addison, boy Cooper and girl Emerson (known collectively as GRACE for their first initials) into the world. And that better than anything sums up the challenge of modern healthcare: balancing costs, liability and patient safety with the wishes of Christian couples like the Ferraros who equate "reducing fetuses" with murder.
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"We decided it was not our place to choose which of our babies would live and which one would die," they explain on the background page of their blog, socalquints.com. "If God was giving us five babies, there was a reason. We made a decision to see them as a precious blessing from God above and not as burdens we needed to eliminate."
Yup, God works in mysterious ways, including through a test tube. The Ferraros are confident others out there feel the same way--and are willing to help them through their blog's solicitations for donations, volunteer help and buyers of skin care products Meryl sells out her home.
The family plans to resume their lives in Fullerton soon. You're welcome, neighbors!